Jet Airways Suspends Operations. All Flights Cancelled.

The Indian airline Jet Airways has suspended all remaining flights after it has failed to secure funding from new investors.

London Air Travel » Jet Airways

Jet Airways Boeing 777-300ER aircraft
Jet Airways Boeing 777-300ER aircraft (Image Credit: Jet Airways)

Jet Airways has suspended all operations after it has failed to secure new funding from either the State Bank of India or new investors.

Jet Airways has been in financial distress for over six months due to heavy financial losses and an over indebted balance sheet. Its operations had been subject to very signifiant disruption due to aircraft being grounded. The airline has long been technically insolvent.

The airline has issued a statement to confirm that all flights have been suspended.

Mumbai, Wednesday, 17th April, 2019: Late last night, Jet Airways was informed by the State Bank of India (SBI), on behalf of the consortium of Indian Lenders, that they are unable to consider its request for critical interim funding.


Since no emergency funding from the lenders or any other source is forthcoming, the airline will not be able to pay for fuel or other critical services to keep the operations going. Consequently, with immediate effect, Jet Airways is compelled to cancel all its international and domestic flights. The last flight will operate today.
This decision has been taken after a painstaking evaluation of all alternatives that were made available to the Company and after receiving guidance and advice on the same from its Board of Directors. Jet Airways has informed the DGCA, and the Ministries of Civil Aviation and Finance and other relevant government institutions, of this course of action.

Over the last several weeks and months, the company has tried every means possible to seek both interim and long-term funding. Unfortunately, despite its very best efforts, the airline has been left with no other choice today but to go ahead with a temporary suspension of flight operations.

This has been a very difficult decision but without interim funding, the airline is simply unable to conduct flight operations in a manner that delivers to the very reasonable expectations of its guests, employees, partners and service providers.

After 25 years of sharing the Joy of Flying with Indian and international guests, Jet Airways has been forced to take this extreme measure as prolonged and sustained efforts with lenders and authorities did not yield the desired results.

Essential services needed to support guest services and the re-commencement of the flight operations will be kept onboard until further notice.

In truth, Jet Airways should have suspended operations some time ago, let alone continue selling flights it had no reasonable prospect of ever operating.

Whilst the suspension of operations has been described as temporary and there is a possibility of new investors coming forward to enable a restart of operations, given the financial state of the airline, this seems unlikely.

Flights from London Heathrow to Mumbai and New Delhi have been cancelled since Friday 12 April 2019. Its three daily slot pairs have also been transferred back to Etihad Airways. In recent days, only a very small number of domestic flights have operated, as its operation had progressively wound down.

Jet Airways was founded in 1993 and was once India’s largest airline by market share. It began flying from London Heathrow in 2005 following a relaxation of a bilateral treaty which allowed more flights between the UK and India.

Civil Aviation Authority Response

Jet Airways is not regulated by the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

However, it may provide general guidance shortly on its website shortly. For passengers with existing bookings, the best advice is contact your credit company for a refund or to check your travel insurance policy to see whether it covers airline failure.

Rescue Fares

When an airline suspends operations it is standard practice for rival airlines to offer “rescue fares” to passengers who are stranded.

As far as UK airlines are concerned, British Airways flies from London Heathrow to Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and New Delhi.

Virgin Atlantic flies from London Heathrow to New Delhi.

Both airlines may announce rescue fares shortly for passengers who are mid-way through their journeys.

If made available, they will only be available by contacting the airlines’ respective call centres. Guidance may be available shortly on the British Airways and Virgin Atlantic websites. If rescue fares are offered, in both cases, proof of an existing booking will be required either at the time of booking or check-in.

Jet Airways Suspends London – Mumbai / New Delhi

Jet Airways has now removed flights from London Heathrow to Mumbai and New Delhi from sale indefinitely.

London Air Travel » Jet Airways

Jet Airways Boeing 777-300ER aircraft
Jet Airways Boeing 777-300ER aircraft (Image Credit: Jet Airways)

Following the cancellation of Jet Airways’ flights from London Heathrow to Mumbai and New Delhi since Friday 12 April 2019, Jet Airways has now removed these routes from sale permanently.

These routes had been removed from sale until Friday 26 April 2019. However, this has now been extended indefinitely.

At present Jet Airways is only operating a very limited number of domestic flights. At most only a handful of Jet Airways flights are operating at any one time.

Jet Airways’ three daily London Heathrow slot pairs were leased from Etihad which took back the slots on Friday.

Taking account of these developments, short of a near miraculous injection of capital from a new investor, there is no reasonable prospect of Jet Airways returning to London Heathrow.

Jet Airways’ route to Mumbai was codeshared with Virgin Atlantic who also codeshared with the airline on a number of domestic routes in India. This does leave Virgin Atlantic without a codeshare partner in India. Virgin has mooted a return to Mumbai, a route it has previously suspended twice.

Virgin Atlantic is offering passengers who have booked codeshare flights on Jet Airways through Virgin a full refund, or the opportunity to rebook or reroute. Full details are on the Virgin Atlantic website.

Update: Jet Airways has now put flights from London Heathrow to Mumbai and New Delhi back on sale from Friday 26 April 2019. However, it remains far from certain that they will actually operate.

Update 2: Jet Airways has published a full list of cancellations. It states that its London routes are cancelled until Thursday 18 April 2019. However, again, it remains far from certain that they will actually operate.

Jet Airways Transfers Heathrow Slots To Etihad

Jet Airways has permanently transferred its Heathrow slots to Etihad Airways.

London Air Travel » Jet Airways

Jet Airways Boeing 777-300ER aircraft
Jet Airways Boeing 777-300ER aircraft (Image Credit: Jet Airways)

Jet Airways has transferred its Heathrow slots to Etihad Airways.

Airport Coordination Ltd, which is responsible for governing slot trades at London Heathrow, has reported a permanent transfer of Jet Airways’ three daily slot pairs to Etihad. This follows significant disruption to Jet Airways’ operations and the recent cancellation of flights from London Heathrow.

Jet Airways - Etihad Heathrow Slot Swap
Jet Airways – Etihad Heathrow Slot Swap (Image Credit: Airport Coordination Limited)

It is likely that these slots were originally leased from Etihad to Jet Airways, after Etihad acquired slots from Jet Airways when it originally bought a stake in the airline.

The transfer officially takes effect from Sunday 28 April 2019. In the absence of any alternative arrangements this means that Jet Airways Heathrow operations will effectively end.

It is not clear at the moment what Etihad will do with the slots. Under “use it or lose it” rules Etihad will need to either lease the slots to another airline and operate them itself.

Jet Airways London Heathrow Cancellations

Jet Airways flights from London Heathrow are subject to cancellation.

London Air Travel » Jet Airways

Jet Airways Boeing 777-300ER aircraft
Jet Airways Boeing 777-300ER aircraft (Image Credit: Jet Airways)

Jet Airways had been in financial distress for many months due to heavy financial losses and an over indebted balance sheet. Its domestic operations have been subject to signifiant disruption as aircraft have been grounded.

This has now extended to its international operations. Flights have already been operating without in-flight entertainment over the past week and some international routes outside of London have been cancelled.

Jet Airways flies from London Heathrow to New Delhi and Mumbai. The latter route is also codeshared with Virgin Atlantic.

All Jet Airways flights from London Heathrow are showing as cancelled on Friday 12, Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 April 2019:

Flight 9W119 London Heathrow – Mumbai
Flight 9W117 London Heathrow – Mumbai
Flight 9W121 London Heathrow – New Delhi

These flights have also been taken off sale from its website on Saturday 13 April 2019. Until Monday 15 April 2019, Jet Airways is expected to operate only a very limited number of domestic flights.

Jet Airways has provided limited disruption assistance advice on its website. Whilst it is promising full refunds to passengers, there is a long list of creditors, including its own pilots, who are owed money by the airline.

In anticipation of disruption Virgin Atlantic has confirmed that passengers who have booked to fly on Virgin Atlantic with onward connections to Jet Airways can either obtain a refund or rebook to an alternative date or destination. More details are available from Virgin Atlantic.

Whilst efforts are being made to find new investors in Jet Airways, this is clearly a fluid situation. Given the airline’s debts, widespread operational disruption and loss of confidence in the airline, it is hard to see what assets are left for any willing potential purchaser.

About Jet Airways

Jet Airways was founded in 1993 and was once India’s largest airline by market share. It began flying from London Heathrow in 2005 following a relaxation of a bilateral treaty which allowed more flights between the UK and India. Etihad acquired a 24% stake in the airline in 2013, and this is the latest in a truly disastrous string of investments by Etihad.

In the event of continued disruption it’s not clear what happens to Jet Airways’ Heathrow slots as Etihad did acquire three slot pairs from Jet Airways when it acquired a stake in the airline.

Update: Jet Airways’ Heathrow slots have been transferred to Etihad.